Beautiful Learning:
New Martin Shaw live audio
Recorded live over two days this summer, Beautiful Learning: Oral Thought & Culture-Making is a deep dive into Celtic stories and philosophy.
The event, which took place on Dartmoor in Devon (UK) in July, included tellings of Cinderbiter (from the Hebrides) and Irish story The Birth of Ossian, along with a very rare rendition of the Invasion Tales of Erin and the Arrival of the Tuatha De Danann (Irish).

The live recording (available as MP3 downloadable files) covers the gathering as it moves between mythic and personal narratives, and the associations we have with that big word Storyteller.

As well as offering ancient folktales, roving conversation, and plenty to unpack in your soul in the weeks following, this is a moment to take stock, to assess the curvature of a world you’d love to serve.

Towards the end of the recording, Martin also speaks about his recent work editing an anthology of the Irish philosopher John Moriarty, A Hut at the Edge of the Village.

The audio recording is approximately three hours, 33 minutes long.

Buy Beautiful Learning

Scatterlings in The Guardian

Award winning author Charles Foster, writing in The Guardian today on his top 10 books about human consciousness, has listed Scatterlings as number two on the list. He says: “Very few books about the wild are wild, and so very few are worthy of their subject. This one is.” The article looks at authors from Carl Jung to Aldous Huxley and Susan Blackmore, who explore the deep mysteries of what it means to be a person.

Read the article

New interview and book event

A new video interview with Dr Martin Shaw, hosted by Banyen Books in Canada, is now available here. Martin talks to Ross McKeachie about his book Smoke Hole: Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass, discussing the pandemic, myth and wild nature.

For those in the west country (UK), Martin will be at Brendon Books in Taunton on November 3 (7pm) for an evening talking about Smoke Hole. Tickets are available here.

See the interview
Tickets for book event
Bardskull: memoir and myth
This powerful fusion of memoir and myth, a brand new collaboration between Martin Shaw and Unbound Books, is now 41 per cent funded but many exciting rewards are still available as part of the funding project.
The manuscript page above (original one-off, not print) is part of the reward scheme, along with limited Bardskull cider, signed first edition hardbacks, t-shirts, and tickets to a launch party.

Says Martin: “My thanks go out to all those who have pledged support so far. Bardskull is over 40% funded in just a few days. That’s personally very energising.”

Bardskull is the record of three journeys made in the year before Martin turned 50.This is not a book about myth or story. It is a sequence of incantations and a series of battles. For each of the three journeys, Martin walks alone into a forest in the heart of Dartmoor and waits. This book can be read as a fable, as a memoir, as autofiction, as an attempt to undomesticate myth.

Unbound Books launched the fund raising campaign with the aim of publishing in 2022. All those who  pledge to help will get their name included in a supporter section of the book as a thank you.

There is a short film and an excerpt from the book here.

Pledge here

Cista archives

Don’t forget the Cista Mysticaarchives, a treasure chest of golden nuggets gathered up in one place. They include interviews, videos, articles, book reviews and essays. The list can be found in the news section of the website. It’s our hope you’ll find something here to stash in your saddlebags for the road ahead, whatever it may bring.

See the archives